The Congress chief Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council on Friday suggested bringing children of migrant labourers and manual scavengers under the disadvantaged group, paving the way for their enrolment in private schools under the Right to Education Act.
Pitching for better integration of children from disadvantaged groups in private schools, the NAC favoured widening the definition of 'disadvantaged' to include groups such as migrant and street children, children in conflict regions and children of manual scavengers.
At the NAC meeting, member Anu Aga, convener of the Working Group on Right to Education, made a presentation on its recommendations to improve RTE.
"It is the government's responsibility to timely reimburse the private schools to cover incidental expenses such as the costs of remedial work, counselling, text books, uniforms," it said.
The advisory panel also suggested an increase in financial allocations and improving efficiency to promote learning outcomes and inclusiveness.
Favouring the establishment of well-defined learning outcome goals, the NAC said, "It is essential to define grade-wise standards of learning and align curriculum and text books to these standards."
The NAC wanted strengthening of monitoring and evaluation systems through student learning outcomes, teacher performance appraisal and school performance review process as a whole.
It pitched for enlarging the pool of competent teachers and setting of professional standards at a national-level for teachers, teacher educators and teacher training institutes.
"All teacher education institutes need to be reviewed periodically," it said.
The NAC recommended developing a National Policy for early childhood and pre-school education with the collaborative efforts of the women and child development ministry and human resources development ministry.
If favoured support to all schools to meet the norms under RTE after assessing the compliance status of all government, aided and private schools.
Seeking to speed up development of the northeast, the NAC has favoured treating telecom services among essential services.
It also suggested enhancement of outreach and delivery of health services with infrastructure and additional manpower both in terms of medical professionals as well as other service providers, emphasis on use of technology and innovative methods to provide health care.
The NAC also favoured that states in the north-east region to be connected with each other and with rest of the country through reliable air connectivity, by investing in infrastructure, small aircraft, helicopter services, technical manpower and state-of-art MeT infrastructure.
It also wanted strengthening of institutional infrastructure and operational support in central institutions of higher learning, especially in fields of science and engineering.
The NAC also suggested enhancing access to financial services in the region to bring it at par with the rest of the country in the 12th Plan period, by adopting a multi-pronged strategy.